Free Will

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Re: Free Will

#10001  Postby DavidMcC » Oct 06, 2017 2:34 pm

John, how is the Gell-Mann interview video relevant to free will? It is only relevant to interpretation of QM.
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Re: Free Will

#10002  Postby John Platko » Oct 06, 2017 3:52 pm

DavidMcC wrote:John, how is the Gell-Mann interview video relevant to free will? It is only relevant to interpretation of QM.


It's relevant to the interpretation of multiple histories. And multiple histories suggest branching points, i.e. the actual possibility to do this rather than that. And that is what the concept of free will is all about. :scratch: Is this not obvious?
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Re: Free Will

#10003  Postby GrahamH » Oct 06, 2017 3:59 pm

John Platko wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:John, how is the Gell-Mann interview video relevant to free will? It is only relevant to interpretation of QM.


It's relevant to the interpretation of multiple histories. And multiple histories suggest branching points, i.e. the actual possibility to do this rather than that. And that is what the concept of free will is all about. :scratch: Is this not obvious?


It's not obious. What you would need for free will in MWI is to consciously choose the quantum branches (your conscious intent determining the quantum, branch). Otherwise your choice will depend what branch you happen to be on which is the cart before the horse. That would be you choosing what QM selects for you.

The other way to look at MWI is that every branch is realised so you have no freedom. You are compelled to make all possible choices. It's no consolation to think that some duplicate of yourself in some other universe got it right if you in this universe has just made a colossal bad call.
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Re: Free Will

#10004  Postby DavidMcC » Oct 06, 2017 4:14 pm

John Platko wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:John, how is the Gell-Mann interview video relevant to free will? It is only relevant to interpretation of QM.


It's relevant to the interpretation of multiple histories. And multiple histories suggest branching points, i.e. the actual possibility to do this rather than that. And that is what the concept of free will is all about. :scratch: Is this not obvious?

It depends whether the "branching point" is just in the probability calculation concerning the "possibility to do this rather than that", and not an actual branching point in the actual history (which implies multiple ACTUAL histories, and multiple ACTUAL universes). Apparently, Everett thought the latter, even though you (and I) consider it to be the former. Apparently, he was so derided by his peers after he published it, that he withdrew from physics.
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Re: Free Will

#10005  Postby John Platko » Oct 06, 2017 4:24 pm

GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:John, how is the Gell-Mann interview video relevant to free will? It is only relevant to interpretation of QM.


It's relevant to the interpretation of multiple histories. And multiple histories suggest branching points, i.e. the actual possibility to do this rather than that. And that is what the concept of free will is all about. :scratch: Is this not obvious?


It's not obious. What you would need for free will in MWI is to consciously choose the quantum branches (your conscious intent determining the quantum, branch).


It's certainly not obvious to me why conscious intent is needed for the choice. Why is unconscious intent insufficient? :scratch:
Why do you believe that the free will you don't seem to believe in must have conscious intent?


Otherwise your choice will depend what branch you happen to be on which is the cart before the horse. That would be you choosing what QM selects for you.


I think it is you who is putting the cart before the horse. If one wants a bottom up view of the situation then first one must show the possibility for real choice, i.e. the branching points. Once that is well established and agreed on we can proceed to how the branches are navigated.


The other way to look at MWI is that every branch is realised so you have no freedom.


:what: :what: Are you suggesting that I'm only imagining I'm eating vanilla ice cream when I choose it over chocolate but in reality I'm eating both?


You are compelled to make all possible choices.


:scratch: I think we better take a step back and define exactly what you mean by "you". I've been wrong before, but as far as I can tell there's only this one me, in one world, licking one cone.


It's no consolation to think that some duplicate of yourself in some other universe got it right if you in this universe has just made a colossal bad call.


Actually, I find it easy to be happy for the good fortune you're imagining me having in another world. I'm more troubled by the thought of the terrible things I'm doing in those other worlds - it's like your dammed if you do and you're dammed if you don't.
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Re: Free Will

#10006  Postby DavidMcC » Oct 06, 2017 4:33 pm

GrahamH wrote:...

The other way to look at MWI is that every branch is realised so you have no freedom. You are compelled to make all possible choices. It's no consolation to think that some duplicate of yourself in some other universe got it right if you in this universe has just made a colossal bad call.

Every branch being realised is absurd - the "literalist" interpretation of Everett's MWI.
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Re: Free Will

#10007  Postby John Platko » Oct 06, 2017 4:34 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
John Platko wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:John, how is the Gell-Mann interview video relevant to free will? It is only relevant to interpretation of QM.


It's relevant to the interpretation of multiple histories. And multiple histories suggest branching points, i.e. the actual possibility to do this rather than that. And that is what the concept of free will is all about. :scratch: Is this not obvious?

It depends whether the "branching point" is just in the probability calculation concerning the "possibility to do this rather than that", and not an actual branching point in the actual history (which implies multiple ACTUAL histories, and multiple ACTUAL universes). Apparently, Everett thought the latter, even though you (and I) consider it to be the former. Apparently, he was so derided by his peers after he published it, that he withdrew from physics.


If what he said was just something about the "probability calculation" then why was he so derided by his peers? And why is his idea, which some found worthy of ridicule, given so much credence today? And why do so many world class physicists seem to really believe that MWI is about more than probability calculation.

:scratch: Perhaps if you take a concrete example and explain it I will understand this better. Please explain how spooky action at a distance makes sense from a perspective of a MWI being a probability calculation.
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Re: Free Will

#10008  Postby GrahamH » Oct 06, 2017 4:39 pm

John Platko wrote:
It's certainly not obvious to me why conscious intent is needed for the choice. Why is unconscious intent insufficient? :scratch:
quote]

"unconscious intent"? WTF is that? Is it something you intend to do without knowing that you intend to do it?
To intend is to have in mind something to be done or brought about
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/intend


If you do something with no forethought we call that "unintentional".
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Re: Free Will

#10009  Postby DavidMcC » Oct 06, 2017 4:43 pm

John Platko wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
John Platko wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:John, how is the Gell-Mann interview video relevant to free will? It is only relevant to interpretation of QM.


It's relevant to the interpretation of multiple histories. And multiple histories suggest branching points, i.e. the actual possibility to do this rather than that. And that is what the concept of free will is all about. :scratch: Is this not obvious?

It depends whether the "branching point" is just in the probability calculation concerning the "possibility to do this rather than that", and not an actual branching point in the actual history (which implies multiple ACTUAL histories, and multiple ACTUAL universes). Apparently, Everett thought the latter, even though you (and I) consider it to be the former. Apparently, he was so derided by his peers after he published it, that he withdrew from physics.


If what he said was just something about the "probability calculation" then why was he so derided by his peers? And why is his idea, which some found worthy of ridicule, given so much credence today? And why do so many world class physicists seem to really believe that MWI is about more than probability calculation.

That was my point: he didn't say it was just a probaility calculational aid.
:scratch: Perhaps if you take a concrete example and explain it I will understand this better. Please explain how spooky action at a distance makes sense from a perspective of a MWI being a probability calculation.

Why would I do that? I am not an advocate of even the less whacky version of MWI, but you seem to think that, somehow, I am, just becasue I distiguished between the whacky version and the simply obscure version.
BTW, a few years ago, on the Physics thread, I attempted to explain "spooky action at a distance" (which has nothing to do with MWI, incidentally).
Last edited by DavidMcC on Oct 06, 2017 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Free Will

#10010  Postby GrahamH » Oct 06, 2017 4:44 pm

John Platko wrote:
Yes, that's not quite right, it's more like: I was free to choose, nobody (including me), made me do it.


If you didn't make yourself act how the fuck can it be free will?

Now you have acts that you are not the causing to happen and that you have no awareness of intending to do that you want to call free will. That's just bizarre.
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Re: Free Will

#10011  Postby DavidMcC » Oct 06, 2017 4:49 pm

GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
Yes, that's not quite right, it's more like: I was free to choose, nobody (including me), made me do it.


If you didn't make yourself act how the fuck can it be free will?
...

Coercion can overcome one's will to act, such as (I guess) when you are in prison., where you can't necessarily make yourself act.
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Re: Free Will

#10012  Postby GrahamH » Oct 06, 2017 5:03 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
Yes, that's not quite right, it's more like: I was free to choose, nobody (including me), made me do it.


If you didn't make yourself act how the fuck can it be free will?
...

Coercion can overcome one's will to act, such as (I guess) when you are in prison., where you can't necessarily make yourself act.


FFS! How can it be free will if you don't make yourself act? That is you DO act but it isn't brought about by you willing it (intending it).

I know from your pet definitions of free will that you can't call that free will. Not only do you exclude acts not thought about you require significant deliberation that can only be done given "enough time". So acting without conscious intentional thoughts plus deliberation about consequences is not what you call free will.
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Re: Free Will

#10013  Postby scott1328 » Oct 06, 2017 5:10 pm

Free Will is generally referred to in the context of holding people morally responsible for the actions they take. However, we also hold people morally responsible for the actions they fail to take.

If Free-Will is defined as those actions (or inactions) for which we hold people morally responsible. Then this whole thread is over. Free Will does exist, because it is undeniable that we individually and as a society hold people accountable. We can then label unintentional actions as "Free Will" actions by virtue of holding people accountable for them. You know like throwing negligent people in prison for forgetting their infants in the back seat of hot cars.

We can all meet over in the Justice is a Universal thread. And start over there.
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Re: Free Will

#10014  Postby John Platko » Oct 06, 2017 5:14 pm

DavidMcC wrote:
John Platko wrote:
DavidMcC wrote:
John Platko wrote:

It's relevant to the interpretation of multiple histories. And multiple histories suggest branching points, i.e. the actual possibility to do this rather than that. And that is what the concept of free will is all about. :scratch: Is this not obvious?

It depends whether the "branching point" is just in the probability calculation concerning the "possibility to do this rather than that", and not an actual branching point in the actual history (which implies multiple ACTUAL histories, and multiple ACTUAL universes). Apparently, Everett thought the latter, even though you (and I) consider it to be the former. Apparently, he was so derided by his peers after he published it, that he withdrew from physics.


If what he said was just something about the "probability calculation" then why was he so derided by his peers? And why is his idea, which some found worthy of ridicule, given so much credence today? And why do so many world class physicists seem to really believe that MWI is about more than probability calculation.

That was my point: he didn't say it was just a probaility calculational aid.
:scratch: Perhaps if you take a concrete example and explain it I will understand this better. Please explain how spooky action at a distance makes sense from a perspective of a MWI being a probability calculation.

Why would I do that? I am not an advocate of even the less whacky version of MWI, but you seem to think that, somehow, I am, just becasue I distiguished between the whacky version and the simply obscure version.
BTW, a few years ago, on the Physics thread, I attempted to explain "spooky action at a distance" (which has nothing to do with MWI, incidentally).


Attempt? Where you successful? Is the Nobel Committee aware of your fine work?

If you give me a link I'll have a look at it.

Call me skeptical, but I don't think there is a generally accepted explanation of how spooky action at a distance makes sense - that's why it's called spooky. :roll:

On the other hand, I think a rather clear view of what is afoot with spooky action can be sussed out once one accepts that reality really involves branching histories. :nod:
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Re: Free Will

#10015  Postby GrahamH » Oct 06, 2017 5:17 pm

scott1328 wrote:Free Will is generally referred to in the context of holding people morally responsible for the actions they take. However, we also hold people morally responsible for the actions they fail to take.

If Free-Will is defined as those actions (or inactions) for which we hold people morally responsible. Then this whole thread is over. Free Will does exist, because it is undeniable that we individually and as a society hold people accountable. We can then label unintentional actions as "Free Will" actions by virtue of holding people accountable for them. You know like throwing negligent people in prison for forgetting their infants in the back seat of hot cars.

We can all meet over in the Justice is a Universal thread. And start over there.


That's definitely backwards. Merely blaming someone means they are responsible and therefore acted freely. :nono:

You also based a definition of free will on deliberation of likely consequences. Are you suggesting that is something unconscious?
If you suddenly realise you have done something you had no idea you were about to do, so you had no possibility of deliberation or conscious veto are you changing your definition to include that in free will now?
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Re: Free Will

#10016  Postby scott1328 » Oct 06, 2017 5:19 pm

GrahamH wrote:
scott1328 wrote:Free Will is generally referred to in the context of holding people morally responsible for the actions they take. However, we also hold people morally responsible for the actions they fail to take.

If Free-Will is defined as those actions (or inactions) for which we hold people morally responsible. Then this whole thread is over. Free Will does exist, because it is undeniable that we individually and as a society hold people accountable. We can then label unintentional actions as "Free Will" actions by virtue of holding people accountable for them. You know like throwing negligent people in prison for forgetting their infants in the back seat of hot cars.

We can all meet over in the Justice is a Universal thread. And start over there.


That's definitely backwards. Merely blaming someone means they are responsible and therefore acted freely. :nono:

By your own argument a negligent person can't have acted freely.

Perhaps you have it backwards. Maybe Free Will is a conclusion and not a premise.
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Re: Free Will

#10017  Postby GrahamH » Oct 06, 2017 5:24 pm

scott1328 wrote:
Perhaps you have it backwards. Maybe Free Will is a conclusion and not a premise.


I agree that free will is a conclusion not a premise. That's a fair way to put it. We don't act by exercising free will, we weigh our actions by our ability to identify causes of that action/ If we can't spot why we did it we tend to call it free will.

But that's not the usual definition that supposes that will, intentional thought, drives our actions. That we could do otherwise if only we think to try doing otherwise.
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Re: Free Will

#10018  Postby scott1328 » Oct 06, 2017 5:28 pm

So the question is: if Free Will is necessary to hold someone morally accountable, then how are we justified for punishing negligence?
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Re: Free Will

#10019  Postby John Platko » Oct 06, 2017 5:30 pm

GrahamH wrote:
John Platko wrote:
It's certainly not obvious to me why conscious intent is needed for the choice. Why is unconscious intent insufficient? :scratch:
quote]

"unconscious intent"? WTF is that? Is it something you intend to do without knowing that you intend to do it?
To intend is to have in mind something to be done or brought about
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/intend


If you do something with no forethought we call that "unintentional".


I'm talking about something that was intended by the mind but perhaps unconsciously so. That's is, you really deep down want x but think you want y and yet somehow you end up choosing x. Admittedly, words like intention, and unintentional have too many degrees of freedom to be of much use in this discussion but I think you get what I'm saying. My kind of free will is not limited to conscious intent. We often consciously make choices to supress conscious knowledge (this explains it rather nicey) and our free will then has hidden states which never-the-less become part of our free will neural mechanism.

It's easy to see how this plays out in reality. A person keeps ending up in the same sort of bad situation (maybe a bad relationship keeps repeating) even though they are consciously trying to avoid that situation again. Often this is by choice but not conscious choice - hidden state choice.
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Re: Free Will

#10020  Postby GrahamH » Oct 06, 2017 5:34 pm

scott1328 wrote:we also hold people morally responsible for the actions they fail to take.


This is true, but only in cases where we think the person should have anticipated the consequences and acted to avoid them. We expect surgeons to be competent and know what will happen when they move a scalpel. We expect drivers to be aware that their vehicles are dangerous and therefore drive carefully. We don't expect babies to know much about various situations. If 3 month old baby hands a bead to his twin and the twin chokes on it we don't consider the babies to be responsible fo the death. We more likely blame the parents that failed to anticipate the danger of beads or the need for supervision. People with low IQ are not considered responsible to for some sorts of actions of we understand they are incompetent to anticipate consequences or how to avoid them. Similarly with adults in exceptional circumstances where something happens that most people would not reasonably expect.

unaware This is line with your own definition of free will as deliberative.You can't deliberate on something without being aware of what you are about to do and it's likely consequences.
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